News broke this morning that Carlos Beltran will no longer be playing his home games in the N.L. East, causing speculation of a trade to further light up the rumor wire. It turns out, however, he will remain a Met because in a monumental decision Commissioner Bud Selig has agreed to relocate the Mets to the NL Central where they are now contending for a playoff berth.
Earlier this week, it was reported the Mets were looking to trade off their entire roster, but with the team now thrust into a playoff race, those plans have been tossed out of the window.
A strange loophole in the MLB rule book states: “Any franchise may request division relocation if the commissioner’s office deems it beneficial for the game.”
“No one knew this was in the works since April,” said Mets GM Sandy Alderson. “The first thing my staff and I did was put in the transfer papers.”
The quick-witted Alderson and his staff first gained notoriety for their outside the box approach to running the Oakland A’s, a style now known as “Moneyball.” One can say that moving an entire team to a weaker division is the ultimate example of this philosophy.
The Mets, who were third in the NL East with a 51-51 record, will enter tomorrow’s game vs. the Reds only three games out of first in the Central.
Charlie Manuel, whose Phillies have feasted on the Mets over the past few years protested the move but was told he had no leg to stand on. The Mets will now play a basement dwelling Astros team 15 times a season instead of his playoff-bound squad.
“The rule has always been there in the bylaws, but no one has ever bothered to actual give it a try,” claimed Selig. “The Cubs considered it once, but realized it probably wouldn’t make much of a difference what division they played in.”